November 17, 2013

Plague days

I've been re-reading Albert Camus' novel The Plague for the umpteenth time, about an outbreak of the pestilence in the Algerian town of Oran in the 1940s. I think Camus saw it as a metaphor for the grip of fascism on Europe.

At times, I  feel like I've lived through wave after wave of outbreaks of the plague, not, thank God, in the form of 20th century fascism but of a mean-spirited, all-American robber baron mentality of bloodless greed, often backed up by bigotry, fanaticism and xenophobia.

The first wave hit with the Reagan ascendancy in the 1980s, followed by the Gingrich "revolution" in 1994, the era Bush II, and lately the Tea Party. it's hard for me to tell most days whether to count that as separate waves of plague or one long outbreak the wanes and waxes.

I think that's also why the image of zombies shows up so much in this blog, as the dead (or in this case ideas that should have long been dead) come back to devour the living. In the image of Camus' novel, the dead rats keep appearing in intervals, signifying another outbreak.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, here's American food policy on plague.

AND HERE'S ANOTHER CRITIQUE of the ideology of the plague.

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